If one were to be really bored and one had lost internet connection, lost the key to the library to snatch a nice classic book about World War 2, or suffered a broken X-box, then one could still go back to what people did in the olden days for a sort of entertainment and passing the time without totally going crazy and just comparing things and see how much time could actually pass. For instance when taking two normal places in Germany Goettingen and Weissenfels, there wouldn´t be too many similarities as Goettingen already is classified as a medium city in size as it has 117,000 inhabitants and is known for being a university place lying on the river Leine while Weissenfels is a tiny spec on the map having nearly 40,000 inhabitants, but when one has zipped through the main street in about 20 seconds, it feels more like half as many people could really be living there. However it does have some similarities as in non-basketball terms, both have Mcdonalds which has always pleased American basketball players and in basketball terms it has two things in common when talking basketball and the first is that both teams have won international titles with the Mitteldeutscher BC in Weissenfels the Fiba cup in 2004 and BG Goettingen the Eurochallenge in 2010. The other affinity that both clubs have is when the going gets tough, don´t fire the head coach, but bring in a fireman for the sidelines, but instead bring in a fireman on the court which both did recently with ex NBA player Khalid El Amin in Goettingen and basketball globetrotter Marcus Hatten. Both teams in a way are hoping that both Americans can save their season. Another alikeness is that Hatten started the season with BG Goettingen. It has been a very difficult season for MBC as they have a budget in the lower half of the league teams and have to always rely on putting together the best possible for the money available while praying for a stable team chemistry early to help carry the team through the season, but that hasn´t happened this season. Hatten is a 35 year old 185cm point guard from Baltimore that is playing his 13th professional season and second with the Mitteldeutscher BC. Hatten is the classic basketball globetrotter as he has played in 10 countries professionally and it would have been more if he hadn´t played three seasons a piece in Greece and Italy. It would be interesting to see if he could rattle off all the countries he has played in with the United States, Poland, Spain, Israel, Venezuela, Greece, Italy, Belgium,Romania and Germany, the way Matt Damon did his fictitious 12 brothers as Marky, Ricky, Danny, Terry, Mikey, Davey, Timmy, Tommy, Joey, Robby, Johnny and Brian in the Academy Award winning movie Good Will Hunting. Damon portrayed an unrecognized genius in the movie, while Hattten would settle for being a genius some of the time on the court. Since Hatten arrived the club has gone 2-5 and won their first game with him with 97-76 against Crailsheim who can always be an annoying opponent. The team also beat total underachieving Bremerhaven 88-84. They are definitely playing better basketball with Hatten on board as they lost tight affairs to Tuebingen and Braunschweig by 7 and in Giessen 74-69. Hatten has scored in double figures in each game except the last against Alba Berlin where he mustered 6 points and has given the team that extra experience and stability on both ends of the court that it was lacking. Currently Hatten is averaging 12,0ppg, 3,9rpg, 4,4apg and 1,6spg as he is still a pest on defense despite his 35 years of age. The Mitteldeutscher BC remembered what he did in the 2013-2014 season as he played 25 games averaging 13.6ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-5(5.0apg), Steals-2(2.2spg), FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 84.3%. He was a big reason why the team just missed the playoffs finishing in 9th place. Mitteldeutscher BC manager Martin Geissler won´t be expecting a playoff appearance this season, but just be happy with seeing another Beko BBL season next year.
After moving back to the Beko BBL in 2012, the 2004 Fiba cup winner have finished in 16th place, ninth place and last season in 12th place and continue to have that distinction of being the recipient of the Wolf den in Weissenfels a place that no club enjoys entering as coming out a winner at times can be as difficult as a speedy rabbit escaping the jaws of a wolf. Last season the team had two strong spurts at the start of the season winning five of their first six games and already giving a wolf howl that said “beware we are not to be underestimated, but then came a down point as the team that lost 11 of their next 13 games. They made a last push in March/April winning five of six, but that came a bit too late as the playoff places were out of reach. Their biggest accomplishment last season was sweeping Eurocup team Artland Dragons. This season Croatian head coach Silvano Poropar went into his fourth season with a fat guaranteed contract until 2020 and as always having a limited budget where he had to get the most out of what he had. This season the club pretty much had to start from scratch as they held only one role player form last season with Franz Massenat and the rest were all new players. The bad start of losing your 8 games didn´t help the mental health of head coach Silvano Porpat and the going of Lawrence Alexander, Ivan Siriscevic and Haukur Palsson didn´t help the team chemistry from finding itself either. The club has been carried from Tashawn Thomas, Chris Otule and Franz Massenat who are averaging double figures in scoring and the arrivals of Marcus Hatten and Nikola Dragovic have helped as well as having German Dominique Johnson become a solid performer and Lance Jeter giving support from the bench, but it never matters how many solid scorers you have, if one doesn´t play defense, you can´t win on a consistent rate and that has been the big problem of the Mitteldeutscher BC as they have averaged scoring 77 points a game, but give up an unacceptable 85 points per game. In their defense, one must mention that they were in many games as they lost to Phoenix Hagen, medi Bayreuth, FC Bayern Munich, EWE Baskets Oldenburg, Braunschweig and Giessen by not more than 8 points. A big disadvantage has been their inexperience as the majority of the players are younger than 25 except for Lance Jeter, but with the late arrivals of Marcus Hatten who is 35 and Nikola Dragovic who is 28, the club has added some important factors that have been around the block. Since the arrival of Hatten the team has won their only two games of the season. Another problem is their rebounding as surprisingly they average only 28 a game despite having 5 players 205cm or taller. The club got a big shock over the Christmas holidays as Silvano Poropat resigned stating he was empty and needed a break. The team was run by assistant coach Dirk Dittrich for one game until the club Got 2009 Beko BBL title winner with Oldenburg Predrag Krunic. He had success in Bonn reaching playoffs and kept Bayreuth in the league. The experience and success level that Krunic has maintained in his career speaks for it´s self and manager Martin Geissler reeled in a very good candidate in saving the sinking MBC boat The club definitely also needs Hatten to be that desired fire man on the court, but also more team effort, because if not the team will be living in the cellar in the next months and back in the Pro A quicker than a wolf can exit it´s den.
The club held on to Franz Massenat who is a 193cm guard born in 1992 and is playing his second professional season. Last season with MBC he played 33 games averaging 10.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 36.6%, FT: 75.0%. He played at Drexel from 2010-2014 playing a total of 125 NCAA games and as a senior played 17.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.7apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 72.1%. He is a talented point guard that can score as he demonstrated at Drexel, but has split his scoring and playmaking nicely with MBC. The club added Chris Otule who is a 25 year old 211cm center from Richmond, Texas playing his second professional season. Last season as a rookie he played for the Crailsheim Merlins (Germany-BBL) playing 33 games: 9.2ppg, 4.8rpg, FGP: 60.9%, FT: 53.1%. He played at Marquette(NCAA) from 2008-2014 playing a total of 120 NCAA games and as a senior played 30 games: 5.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 60.2%, FT: 54.8%. He reached two NCAA Sweet 16´s and he is a player that has a great character and is a modern center that likes to finish very close to the rim. Tashawn Thomas is a 22 year old 203cm forward from Killeen, Texas that is playing his rookie season. He started his college career at Houston (NCAA) in 2011 playing three seasons and 93 NCAA games and last season as a senior played at Oklahoma (NCAA) playing 35 games averaging 11.6ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 52.5%, FT: 69.1%. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last season. He is an all -rounder as his stats showed in the NCAA and plays for the team sporting a fine mid-range jumper and solid passer. Lance Jeter is a 27 year old 190cm point guard from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania that is playing his fifth professional season. He played at Nebraska(NCAA) and as a senior played 32 games averaging 11.7ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 72.8%. In 2011 he turned professional and palyed for Lasaulec Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five): 32 games: Score-2(16.8ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5(3.4apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 73.0%. In 2012-2013 he played in Ulm playing 41 games: 7.5ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 70.1%; EuroCup: 14 games: 7.8ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PF: 38.5%, FT: 70.6%. He played in Poland two seasons ago and last season for Donar Groningen (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 36 games: 14.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.4apg, 1.9spg, FGP-3(62.6%), 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 78.5%. He has won cups in Holland and Poland and is a player that give energy at any time and uses his strength to his advantage when penetrating. German Dominique Johnson who is a 23 year old 194cm small forward that started his career in 2010 with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, junior team. He played 3 Beko BBL games for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. He played the last three seasons in the Braunschweig organization, but played only 14 Beko BBL games. He is a very athletic player that can show physical presence and shins on defense and helping under the boards.
The club also added Nikola Dragovic is a 28 year old 206cm forward that has the Serbian/Montenergo citizenship and has much experience. He played at UCLA from 2006-2010 playing a total of 95 NCAA games and as a senior played 30 games averaging 12.0ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 37.2%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 77.8%. There he played with big NBA names like Russell Westbrook, Arron Affalo, Darren Collison, Kevin Love, and Drew Gordon. He turned professional in 2010 playing two seasons in Russia for St Petersburg and two seasons in Italy. He started tehs eason with Bamberg and last season played for BC Igokea Aleksandrovac (Bosnia-Division I): Adriatic League: 19 games: 8.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 47.8%, 3FGP: 30.4%, FT: 71.4%, left in Feb.’15, later that month moved to Lukoil Academic Sofia (Bulgaria-NBL) 19 games: 15.4ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 65.8%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 74.5%. He reached two NCAA Final 4 tournaments and won a cup in Russia and won the Bulgarian title. Stephan Haukohl is a 22 year old 205cm forward that has been a journey man in Germany playing in Jena, Gotha, Ehingen and last season played for rent4office Nuernberg (ProA) playing 38 games: 11.9ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 75.8%. He has a great IQ, can shoot the three and sparkles on the fast break. Flip Bundovic is a 21 year old 205cm forward from Croatia that is playing his first season in Germany. Last season he played for KK Velika Gorica (A1), in Oct.’14 signed at KK Zabok (A1) playing 22 games: 12.6ppg, 4.2rpg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 71.4%. He has a good touch for the big man and won´t shy to get in the lane like a guard. Jonathan Maier is a 23 year old 210cm center that started his career in 2009 with BSG Ludwigsburg (Regionalliga). He played with EnBW Ludwigsburg (1.Bundesliga) playing two Beko BBL games. He played a season with the VfL Kirchheim Knights (ProA) in 2012-2013 an din Ulm the last two seasons playing a total of 22 Beko BBL games. Last season he played 10 games: 1.9ppg; EuroChallenge: 3 games: 2.0ppg, 2.3rpg, played also at Weissenhorn Youngstars (ProB): 24 games: 11.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 64.3%. Maier is a fighter that excels in the mid-range play. Robert Zinn is a 20 year old 195cm shooting guard and like Maier learned his basketball trade in Ludwigsburg. He is playing his second season with MBC and last season played 11 games: 1.8ppg, played also at BSW Sixers Sandersdorf (ProB): 24 games: 13.2ppg, 4.3rpg, 4.7apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 43.7%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 72.5%. He played two Beko BBL games with Ludwigsburg and two seasons ago played for Bike-Cafe Messingschlager Baunach (ProB): 14 games: 1.7ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0apg, played also at TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (Regionalliga): 17 games: 10.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.8apg. Adam Touray is a 21 year old 209cm center that comes from UBC Muenster (Regionalliga) and last season played 26 games: 8.9ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP-3(70.0%), FT: 58.3%. He is a big mobile big man with a lot of potential.
In the short two year tenure that the Mitteldeutscher BC had from 2009-2011, the Frankfurt Skyliners were able to leave the floor each time as the winner and have a positive 4-0 record in that time. In the 2009-2010 season who could forget the exciting 76-74 win in MBC as Frankfurt was down 10 points and made a big comeback in the last minutes as American guard Aubrey Reese won the game with a shot. Frankfurt won the game at home 77-65 as American Jimmy Mckinney led Frankfurt with 17 points, Derrick Allen added 12 points and Skyliner legend Pascal Roller 11 points. In the 2010-2011 season, the Deutsche Bank Skyliners had an easier time winning as they routed the Wolves 83-52 at home as Dashaun Wood had a type of Derrick Rose performance with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists. Dominik Bahiense De Mello added 13 points and KImmo Muurinen 11 points. Frankfurt won in Weissenfels 70-58 as Dashaun Wood poured in 26 points and Quantez Robertson steered 11 points. In the 2012-2013 season, the Fraport Skyliners were swept in the season series and were surprised at home losing to the Mitteldeutscher BC 71-68 as MBC had the better nerves in crunch time. MBC was led by American Morris Curry with 20 points who could penetrate at ease all night long and American Kelly Beidler streered 17 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. Steve Wachalski contributed 11 points and Chad Timberlake 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zack Peacock with 24 points and nine rebounds and Quantez Robertson had 12 points. In Weissenfels, MBC won 73-65 and were led by Hoerdur Vilhjalmsson and Chad Timberlake with 16 points a piece. Devin Uskoski chipped in with 14 points and Osvaldo Jeanty with 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zack Peacock with 19 points. Ted Scott added 13 points and Quantez Robertson 10 points. In the 2013-2014 season the Mitteldeutscher BC won the season series clobbering Frankfurt at home 87-57 as Josh Parker had 19 points and Marcus Hatten 15 points and 10 assists. Malte Schwarz contributed 14 points and four three pointers for insurance. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jarred Dubois with 14 points and Andrew Rautins added 12 points. In the return game, Frankfurt lost one of their many crunch time games in the second half of the season 66-64. Angelo Caloiaro had 13 points and Michael Cufee 12 points. Frankfurt was led by Johannes Voigtmann with 15 points. Last season the Fraport Skyliners swept the season series and in the first game last season the Fraport Skyliners won in Leipzig 73-62 and were led by Johannes Voigtmann and Aaron Doornekamp with 14 points a piece. The Mitteldeutscher BC was led by Patrick Richard with 13 points. In their home game, Frankfurt routed MBC 93-76 and had six players in double figures and led by Johannes Voigtmann with 27 points. Sean Armand steered 15 points and Justin Cobbs 14 points to the win. MBC were led by Franz Massenat with 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners go into the game on Wednesday at MBC reeling off a big 83-78 win at home against Ludwigsburg while MBC lost 89-58 to Alba Berlin. MBC meet Frankfurt tonight at home and are in shambles after losing Poropat and now are begging for something special to happen, but were totally outclassed by Alba Berlin being pounded under the boards and not hitting from outside while the Fraport Skyliners go in on a mission knowing if they win their last two away games in Weissenfels and Crailsheim, they will have secured one season goal of reaching the Cup final round and will be highly motivated, but go in with a thin rotation as the team will decide after the last team shoot around if John Little and Danilo Barthel can play. Frankfurt won´t let this game slip away the way they did in Bayreuth a week ago as they will have learned their lesson and dictate the game from the start instead of the other way around.